Haiti police fire teargas at protesters ahead of elections

Haiti police fire teargas to disperse protesters who make claims of irregularities in electoral process

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A National Police officer kicks a tear gas canister during a demonstration against the electoral process in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 19, 2016

Haiti police fired tear gas at opposition protesters in the capital city of Port-au Prince on Tuesday, only 5 days before the presidential elections.

Protesters took to the streets on Monday to demand the suspension of a Jan. 24 presidential election over alleged irregularities.

Opposition candidate Jude Celestin, who came in second in the first round, has withdrawn from the presidential elections, alleging that electoral authorities favour the ruling party.

Jovenel Moise, 47, ruling party candidate, had been accused of fraud by several of the 54 presidential candidates.

The protesters demanded fresh elections and the creation of an interim government for the time being. They also want elections to be held after President Michel Martelly leaves office next month.  

In provincial areas, unknown attackers burned several electoral offices, while those in the capital city threw stones in protest. The police managed to disperse most of the several thousand protesters. 

The opposition groups included the supporters of Platfom Pitit Desalin, an opposition party led by Jean-Charles Moise who came third in the first round of presidential elections.

"We declare this week the rebellion week to block the Jan. 24 election. We will protest in front of each voting booth and voting centre," said Assad Volcy, the party's deputy secretary general on Monday.

TRTWorld and agencies